Leaving California for New Zealand

US Passport For those of you not caught up on the news for us van Rijs here in Irvine, I thought it would be good to put out a post on what is happening with us over the coming months.

We are leaving California at the beginning of November and heading back to Christchurch, New Zealand. We have been based here in Irvine, CA for just over 2 years and away from New Zealand for almost 10 years, but with recent changes to the businesses that KBC Financial Products, the company I work for, has interests in, they have closed down their direct involvement with the Insurance operations here on the West coast. So having shut up shop here in Irvine there is no longer a KBC office here for me to operate from. I was given the opportunity to relocate back to one of the other offices but we decided that we were done with the shifting around so I took the redundancy option. My last day in the office will be the 16th of October but will be on holiday until the 31st – a crazy thing about my US Visa only allowing we to stay in the country if I am currently employed, so the day KBC stops paying me is the day I have to leave.

Time is rapidly running out before we move and everything is being crushed into the last couple of weeks. Thankfully some of our friends have been kind enough to organize a going away party on our behalf for Friday evening (9th Oct), so we are really looking forward to that, but also will highlight the reality that we are leaving and will really miss this place a lot. We have had a really great time here in Irvine, met some great friends and the family has really grown well here.

We will be packing up the house and leaving the Turtle Rock Canyon Apartments on the 17th of October in order to do a road trip around some of this huge country and take in some of the sites. We will fly out from John Wayne Airport to Denver Colorado where we will pick up a self contained 25 foot RV and drive it back to LA over the following 2 weeks. We aim to take in Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks before heading through Salt Lake City and across to Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park. Then we will visit San Francisco and Monterey before heading back to Irvine down the coast. (Once I have a route mapped out I will post it here for you to follow).

We will be aiming to be back in Irvine for Halloween and then will fly out of LAX on Sunday the 1st of November to arrive back in Christchurch, after a quick stop in Auckland, on the afternoon of the 3rd November. As our house in Christchurch is still tenanted until the 21st of Nov and our furniture will not arrive until sometime after that, we spend a couple of weeks visiting family in Oamaru and Dunedin and I think it will be the first time in maybe almost 10 years that all of our immediate family (both van Rij’s and Slaters) will be living in the same country, all with their new addition. Hopefully our shipping will arrive in time for Christmas so that we can have an enjoyable time with the families on both sides.

The highlight for Christmas will be the Broadbent family reunion, with all of my mum’s brothers and sisters coming down to Christchurch for Christmas. It will be great to have all the Canadian family over there as well. Then it will be off to Golden bay for New Years and our second summer of the year.

As far as work goes for me, this is still up in the air, with several possibilities open. Hopefully there will be some overseas consulting work available through my contacts here and this will enable me to work out exactly what is next for a New Zealand based Network Engineer but it has always been difficult to make head way when applying for jobs from outside NZ, they just don’t believe you are going to stick around when they tell you what the salary is and that it is a “life style choice” to live in Christchurch.

Any way I will try and keep the web site up and up-to-date with the latest news and pictures for those that check it out. I think we will have to set up a what to do and see while in New Zealand page though, as we have had many requests for NZ travelling tips. Top of the list of course is for everyone to come and visit us in Christchurch!

Thanks to all the crazy Yanks that made this possible – Craig, Veronica, the 2 Brits (Clemency and Hadley) and our own Yankee girl (Penelope)

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    2 comments to Leaving California for New Zealand

    • Melissa

      It is always sad to leave but I am sure you will enjoy being back in wee ol’ NZ. I think Daniel will enjoy being closer to his cousins too. George and I are in Christchurch for a night once a month (have a meeting there) so I am looking forward to catching up with you there. Hope the packing goes well and the kids cope with the changes well.

    • Nice to hear how you guys are doing. I wish you all the best with moving to down under again! Hope to visit you again one day in NZ. But for now, just enjoy the hollidays!

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